Lectures > Carlos Mujal
OUSD Teaching American History Grant, In-Service - October 24, 2002
Executive Inn, 1755 Embarcadero, Oakland, California

"Rights and Authority in the Early Republic"
Carlos Mujal, History Instructor, De Anza Collegey
Carlos Mujal taught history at the secondary school level for ten years in the California public school system. He served as a mentor teacher and taught the full spectrum of history classes- bilingual, college preparatory, and advanced placement classes. Mr. Mujal attended National Endowment for the Humanities workshops in 1991 and 1994.  In 1996, he was one of ten educators selected for the American Federation of Teachers' "Education for Democracy International Trainer Orientation" in Washington D.C. The purpose of the summer workshop was to train instructors to teach short courses on the principles of democracy overseas in developing nations, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Mr. Mujal received his MA (1985) and PhD (2002) from U.C. Berkeley.He is currently teaching at De Anza College as a history instructor. He teaches United States history covering the colonial, the nineteenth, and modern time-periods.

Synopsis of the Presentation:

The presentation examined the evolution of democratic ideas as they relate to notions of power and authority in colonial history. The speaker also explored the inevitable conflicts that arise between the individual and the community.  He related part of his presentation to De Tocqueville's notion that the Puritans were not merely the stewards of a religious doctrine but that they also represented the most democratic and republican of characteristics. The speaker also examined the key ideas of the Puritan ideology which influenced later colonial concepts of democracy. In particular, notions associated to participatory democracy were developed: the covenanted community, the need for small government, town meetings, preference of public liberty over private liberty, and promotion of civic virtue.

Puritans had a tremendous influence on the ideas of eighteenth-century Anti-Federalists. Some historians have termed the Anti-Federalists as "secular Puritans." Much of what the Anti-Federalists believed falls under the category of radical republicanism. Anti-Federalists held that power, by its very nature, is expansive. Since power resides in government and the state apparatus, it is left to the citizenry to defend our natural rights - liberty, law, and property. Lastly, the speaker discussed the motivations of the Federalists and how they differed from many republican thinkers who came before them: the advancement of private liberty over public liberty, the promotion of an energetic state, their views on human nature, and the role of institutions with regard to stability. 

Mr. Mujal applied his notion of the expansive nature of government to the elastic clause (Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution) and redirectits relevancy to modern conditions: President Johnson's Message to Congress (August 5, 1964) & Tonkin Gulf Resolution (August 7, 1964), National Security Strategy of the United States (2002), and Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (2002).